Metoprolol succinate has been licensed to treat a number of conditions. These uses include:
- Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Relieving angina symptoms
- Treating congestive heart failure.
Metoprolol succinate may also be recommended "off-label" for other reasons, such as the treatment of migraines or anxiety. The drug has not been licensed for use in children, though it is often used to treat specific conditions seen in children.
(Click What Is Metoprolol Succinate Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
Metoprolol succinate is part of a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, or beta blockers for short. As the name implies, beta blockers block beta receptors in the body. These receptors are located in a number of places within the body, including the heart and blood vessels. These receptors are what stress hormones (such as adrenaline) attach to, and they cause certain reactions in the body, such as an increase in:
- Heart rate
- The force with which the heart pumps blood
- Blood pressure (both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure).
Metoprolol succinate helps to block a specific type of beta receptor called beta-1 receptors. By blocking these receptors, the drug causes the reverse effect of these stress hormones. It decreases heart rate and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as the workload of the heart. This means that the heart requires less blood and oxygen to work properly. Metoprolol succinate also increases the efficiency of the heart, allowing more blood to be pumped out to the rest of the body.
Metoprolol succinate is a beta-1 selective (or cardioselective) beta blocker. This means that it mostly blocks beta-1 receptors, especially at normal doses. However, it can block beta-2 receptors in the lungs to some extent, especially at higher dosages. This can lead to breathing problems, especially in people with asthma or similar conditions.